Reina P. Cunningham
Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) normally processes about 15 requests for food assistance each day. However, during the past two weeks the requests have nearly doubled with 25 to 30 being received daily. The pantry is on track to have served 200 people in January.
An increase in layoffs has caused CCM to be bombarded with new clients.
“We have (seen) at least 30 new clients this month,” said Ashley Witt, food pantry coordinator. “This week I have had to start helping out front, taking applications, because our lobby would be so full.”
This influx of clients could not have come at a worse time. She said donations have drastically decreased, possibly to the point where Witt fears the pantry may become temporarily inoperable.
“Honestly, I don’t know if we will have to shut the doors to the food (pantry),” said Witt. “I have been here for two years now and this is the lowest it has been.”
Witt, in an interview Wednesday, said she believes the pantry only has enough supplies to finish this week.
CCM is completely out of shampoo and toothbrushes. There is only enough soap to last a couple of days, she said. The refrigerator in the pantry is “completely empty.” It is normally stocked with juice, milk and cheese. Shelves normally stocked with food staples are bare.
The food pantry and hygiene program provide food and necessary items for families in need. CCM food baskets are nutritionally balanced and sufficient to feed a family for five to six days. The food pantry and hygiene program are considered an emergency service, therefore provided at a maximum of once every three months.
In addition to providing food, the baskets include hygiene items include soap, shampoo, toilet paper, laundry detergent and toothpaste.
Reina P. Cunningham can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext.205.